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New restaurant in Copperas Cove offers taste of the islands

Cove Leader-Press 

A little taste of the island of Guam is now available in the Cove Terrace Shopping Center with the recent opening of The Island Stop. 
The shop owner, Candelaria Mendiola, and her family moved from Guam to Central Texas due to the COVID-19 pandemic less than two years ago. 
“We were doing empanadas, which is a little thing, and we were doing very well over there, but when COVID hit, we made a decision to leave because everything was locked down,” said Frank Jiminez, who works with Candelaria and moved from Guam with her. “The beaches, the parks. We couldn’t gather with our families, so we were scared…because it was going nowhere except for to all the people.” 
They moved to Copperas Cove because Candelaria’s brother lived in the area. 
“We came and just started everything and decided that the food that we eat every day is so good that we decided to share it with this community,” Jimenez said. 
They had been selling items such as clothing, accessories and food and snacks imported from Guam and other islands through their website, but they didn’t open a storefront until earlier this month, after spending several months finding a place and getting it ready for business.
In addition to Jimenez and Candelaria, Candelaria’s son Chance works at the cash register and her niece, sister-in-law and sister-in-law’s mother all work in the kitchen. 
The Island Stop offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, with lunch starting at 11 a.m., featuring an ever-changing offer of entrees, as well as packaged snacks such as chips and other tasty treats imported directly from Guam, such as different types of coffee and fruity drinks. 
There are also accessories including jewelry and other items available for customers to purchase. 
“The food that we eat that we cook is just exactly how we eat at home,” Jimenez said about the entrees offered. “We cook this way all the time, so we just felt it’s a very unique type of food that’s very simple, and people will enjoy it.”
Jimenez said one of his favorite meals that they offer is called Tinaktik, and it is ground beef cooked with vegetables such as string beans in coconut milk. 
“It just really is one of the island favorites, and I know once people start eating that they’re going to love it,” Jimenez said. 

The menu changes every day in terms of what entrees will be available, but the Island Stop does offer a Fiesta Plate every day, which includes barbeque- either chicken, steak or ribs- and sides of red rice and either coleslaw or potato salad. Some other entrée items that will be offered will have Spam as an ingredient as Spam is very big and used in a lot of meals back in Guam, Jimenez said. 
“Anywhere you go in this United States or in the world, our food is very simple, and it’s very delicious, so we just want to be able to share it with people because I know once people start tasting it, they’re going to really enjoy it,” Jimenez said. “It’s really different compared to what is around, and so we just hope that we’ll be able to share our culture with the community and the neighboring cities.”
The Island Stop will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 126 Cove Terrace Shopping Center. For more information, follow the Island Stop on Facebook. They will be holding their Grand Opening on March 21, 2022 at 10 a.m. 
The Familia breakfast comes in three options: Neni (one choice for $5.00), Nana (two choices for $7.00) and Tata (three choices for $9.00). The Chief lunch plate comes in three size options as well: Kepuha ($8.00 for one choice), Hurao ($10 for two choices) or Gadao ($12 for three choices). 
The side orders come in three sizes: Dikiki (small), Medianu (medium) and Dankolo (large). 
Appetizers include Siopao, Apigigi, Tamales Gisu, Tamales Tapioca, cotton candy, kolaches, donuts and chicken empanada. 
The Island Stop also offers soup, with a different soup special each day. On Monday, the soup of the day is corn soup. Tuesday’s soup of the day is arroz caldo. Wednesday’s soup of the day is chalakilis. Thursday’s soup of the day is Sotanghon/Candelaria. Friday’s soup of the day is egg drop soup. 

Editor's note: This article has been edited to reflect that Candelaria Mendiola is the sole owner of the establishment.

Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Phone:(254) 547-4207